Since its announcement, Bakkt has created a stir in the market. The cryptocurrency exchange and liquidity provider created by the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company ICE takes a rocking start of the year, by raising $182.5 million from a group of high profile investors and venture capital firms.
On the New Year’s Eve, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler made an announcement that in a funding round, the platform has managed to mince $182.5 million. The investors include Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Intercontinental Exchange, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, the fintech arm of Naspers, and Protocol Ventures Loeffler said:
Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts.
2018 has been good for Bitcoin
While the Bitcoin price remains down 80 percent from its all-time high at $19,500, as of December 31, ending the year with a deep bear market. But as Kelly Loeffler sees it, 2018 has been the most active year for the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry, the significant progress in strengthening the infrastructure supporting the asset class.
Just in December, Bakkt secured a $182 million investment and ErisX, another U.S.-based cryptocurrency futures market, received $27.5 million from Nasdaq and Fidelity. Loffler emphasized that while the values have slid substantially, the price does not negotiate the accomplishments of companies within the cryptocurrency ecosystem and the milestones the industry has achieved throughout the past 12 months. She noted:
Notably, 2018 was the most active year for crypto in its brief ten-year history. This was evidenced by rising investment in distributed ledger technology and digital assets, as well as by blockchain network metrics such as daily bitcoin transaction value and active addresses. Yet, these milestones tend to be overshadowed by the more narrow focus on bitcoin’s price, which has been seen by some, as a proxy for the potential of the technology.
Loeffler further adds that growth in the institutional infrastructure for Bitcoin will increase in the overall liquidity of crypto assets. The ecosystem shall eventually observe an inflow of more capital from institutional investors and high profile funds in the long run.
2019 is expecting active solutions to address the lack of merchant adoption of digital assets as several companies including Bakkt are planning various ventures. However, the release of Bakkt’s bitcoin futures contract might get further delayed due to some clearance delays from the U.S. Sec.
In an official statement, Bakkt stated that the firm would provide an update in early 2019 on the intricacies of the firm’s plans in launching its Bitcoin futures market.
“Following consultation with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, ICE Futures U.S., Inc. expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019, for the trading, clearing and warehousing of the Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contract.”